Nancy Smith, Staff Writer
From Oct. 30 through Nov. 3, Armstrong will be celebrating Diversity Week. Hosted by the department of Multicultural Affairs, the events during this week will consist of Tea with Imam Usami, Henna tattoos, a Dia de Los Mortes celebration, a LGBQT panel and a screening of the Bollywood film Cocktail.
According to the director of Multicultural Affairs, Lucero Aradillas, Diversity Week has been happening for at least five years as the former director of Multicultural Affairs, Nashia Whittenburg, largely championed for it when she joined Armstrong in 2012.
“As a campus, we do a good job of celebrating our different cultures, and Diversity Week is another formalized way to ensure that we take a moment to shed light on a particular topic or cultural event,” said Aradillas.
Diversity Week will kick off on Monday Oct. 30 from 10 a.m. to noon in the President’s Dining Room by having Tea with Imam Usami to talk about the religion of Islam and to provide a better understanding of its beliefs and practices.
In conjunction with the 47th Annual Atlanta Pride Festival that occurred on Oct. 13 through Oct. 15, Diversity Week will include a LGBTQ Panel on Thursday Nov. 2 at 5 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom so that students can have a safe discussion on LGBTQ issues with their fellow peers.
When asked about how starting a conversation on Islam and the LGBTQ community could impact Armstrong students, Aradillas commented, “starting a conversation about Islam and the LGBTQ community has ripple effects. As citizens of the world, we are all constantly influenced by the mainstream media and this can often lead to the perpetuation of stereotypes and misrepresentation. The kind of conversations that we want to have at these two events is to shed light on what is true and real so that we can better support our students of the Muslim and LGBTQ community.”
In the Halloween spirit of decorations and dressing up, free Henna tattoos will be offered in the Student Union Ballroom on Tuesday Oct. 31 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. along with music to appreciate the cultures this symbolic art form comes from.
On Wednesday Nov. 1, the Hispanic Outreach and Leadership at Armstrong (HOLA) and Hispanic Outreach and Retention at Armstrong (HORA) will be hosting Dia de Los Mortes from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom.
Armstrong’s website states, “In Mexican culture, it is believed that people suffer three deaths when they die: when their hearts stop beating, when their bodies return to the earth and when their memories are forgotten. Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a time to remember those who have passed, thus preventing the final death.”
The event will include free arts and crafts for anyone attending to celebrate life.
Diversity Week will close by having a film screening on Friday Nov. 3 of the award-winning film Cocktail at 6 p.m. in the Ogeechee Theater.
Aradillas says, “Cocktail is an award-winning, Indian romantic comedy. We picked it because it has received great reviews about it being an all-around great film for friends to watch together and have a good time.”
Diversity Week will be a great chance to get involved and show support for all student communities represented on campus.
Aradillas thinks it is important for all students to embrace diversity: “These kinds of celebrations ensure that students from multiple cultures and backgrounds feel valued on our campus, while also serving to educate people on the true meaning of certain holidays, religions, etc…”
For more information on Diversity Week, students should contact Multicultural Affairs.